Sunday, 30 September 2012

TREC competition at Cleyrac

Just got back from the most brilliant day. Apart from the usual French organisation problems of course...... 

Showed up at 8.30, got ready to go out on the POR (orienteering), only to have to hang around for ages because they were running late. Got our equipment check done, by a chap who used to be our farrier, as it happens, he asked where our "marechalerie" stuff was, we said no shoes, don't need it......

Headed out on the course, quite a short one compared to usual, only 8 kms or so. Made lots of noise as the hunters were out in force!!! One bit had to be done at 8kms/h which suited G as he's definitely in endurance mode these days and wants to bomb off everywhere The last part was only 6kms/h though and we ended up doing the most fantastic collected trot down the hill at the end as he wanted to rush back to the trailer and I wanted him to slow down!!!

Then it was the Control of Paces. Slight problem here being that he didn't want to leave his mate. So he was reluctant to go away from him to the start, then shot off thinking he was going back to him, tried to do just that, I said no, he dropped to a trot for one stride so we lost all our points, and I lost a stirrup but made him canter to the end anyway......
Then lunch. Which lasted about 3 hours. So we didn't get on the PTV (obstacle course) til nearly 4pm........

Worth the wait though as it was a huge long course with loads of space to hooley around, more like a cross country course!

G as usual was not keen on jumping, I am telling him to "get over it you bugger" in this pic...
But he was well up for the rushing around....
 
Ches was brilliant too
 
SNO's teacher, Louise, was there as well, riding Hector, who had his moments
And Aude was there, the lady from Naulet where we spent a weekend doing TREC training last summer....
Anyway, after all that there was a lot more sitting around and waiting, but when it got to 6pm and people were still going round the course, we gave up and came home. Louise stayed to the bitter end and got the results, she won the Club Individuelle, Tanya was second and I was fourth.

Would definitely go back there for another comp, great place......

Monday, 24 September 2012

Another busy weekend

On Saturday we did a bit more endurance training, managed about 7 kms at 10km/h, G didn't seem too distressed by that. He was sweating buckets as usual, mind you, and Sorcier, as usual, wasn't.....

Later on, we got the Gazebo of Doom set up properly and did a bit of work with that. Sorcier may be able to outpace G at endurance, but he was not at all keen to get near the white, horse eating monster, even when his mate was not bothered about standing right underneath it......but we got him near it at least......
Then yesterday, the last dry day forecast here for a week, we decided to do some Interdressage, so here is Gandalf's Handy Horse video:

And Fina's Working Hunter Pony one:

Even found a bit of time afterwards to get the Umbrella of Doom out to further scare the ginger one, Fina helped us this time:
He'll get there in the end; she used to be scared of brollies when she first came, look at her now!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Endurance training day 1......

My dear daughter has decided she wants to do some endurance competitions. As she is only 12, and can't go out on her own, this means that on top of the unaccustomed cycling I am doing for the 5x50 Challenge it looks like there will be a further shock to my couch potato system, involving actually riding faster than our habitual gentle amble.....

So I thought I'd see how well Gandalf and I can cope with faster work. Apparently, we need to do 10-12km/h for a 10k endurance comp. The annoyingly fit other half averages 10km/h on the run so I thought, let's go out with him and see if we can keep up!

All was going well, as soon as G saw him run off, he went into trot by himself to stay with him. Ali was behind on Fina (she doesn't start school til 12 on a Thursday, part timer ) and Tan on Ches. G felt really up for it and so I let him go into canter past the Marathon Man. This was fine, until I heard a shout from behind and pulled up to see poor Tanya hanging on to Ches's side, it appeared he'd got over excited and put in a few bucks, she did well to stay on!

Anyway, Mike offered to go back with them as understandably she didn't feel up to carrying on at speed. We did though, and the boy trotted and cantered pretty much the whole way, with a couple of walk breaks after each canter. I didn't need to ask him, he just did his own thing really. My energy must be different from our usual amble around and he picks up on that of course. We did the 5k loop in 30 minutes which is about right. Map here.

Didn't do it a second time as this is only day 1 and also Ali needed to be back for school. Going to try again on Saturday.....and tomorrow I will take Ches out with Mike just in case he gets any ideas about having a bucking session = going home and not doing any more work......

Cycled to Tan's and back too, the old thigh muscles are complaining a bit........

Sorry, no pics, this riding at speed thing means there's not time to take any!!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Gazebo of Doom.....

At the moment we are working on a bt of desensitisation for my friend's Thoroughbred and today it was the turn of the Gazebo of Doom, you know the things, they always have one over the judges at competitions and I know the vet gates in endurance usually have several. I found a nice white one left over from my brother-in-law's wedding and we got it out this morning.

Gandalf:

"What?"
Sorcier:

"You are joking, right?"

"You're not?"
"Sure about this?"
"Oh, alright then......"
A few months ago he would have run a mile from a white scarey plastic thing like that.......

Here's some vid, the bit at the end with the stick is a breakthrough too, he is (was?) really scared of crops......

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The SNO is very determined......

Since I have been cycling a lot more this past week for the 5x50 Challenge than I usually do (like at all), Éowyn has decided she wants to do some too. Only slight problem was that she couldn't ride her little bike without stabilisers......

So a couple of days ago, she pestered her dad to help her.

....and last night, she got it!
So this morning she was up at 6 asking when we could go cycling........I thought it might be prudent to wait until the sun came up, but as soon as it got light, off we went. Not the fastest bike ride in the world, lots of wobbly bits as she's not too hot on steering, but she only ended up in the ditch twice, so not bad for a first effort ;-)

She managed a whole 4 kms too :-)

Thursday, 13 September 2012

A walk in the woods.....

The 5x50 challenge is going well, have been cycling every day so far, so decided today to take the baby horses out for a walk instead. It rained last night and the woods smelled wonderful, so off we went.

Kinna was a star really, just those big giraffe ears moving around a lot to take in the new environment.

Sky was very silly to begin with (again), snorting and staring at offending rustling leaves and bending twigs. Kinna just carried on, even prepared to go trip trapping over the troll bridge without too much fuss.....

Sky tried to barge over, slipped on the wet wood and did a huge leap to get off at the end. Silly girl.

Anyway, after a while she settled down, and reverted to her usual pastime of trying to snatch as much grass as possible whilst still walking, she's pretty good at it now.

On the way back, we went past the lonely horse who was charging around with excitement at seeing the girls, they just stared for a bit!
It took us a whole hour to do the 5k, which is far too slow for the Marathon Man and occasioned much grumbling. Also, Ali and I kept stopping to admire other horses, passing countryside etc which isn't on, apparently.......
 
Took a bit of vid of Kinns, I just love her ickle feet!!
video

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The 5x50 Challenge....

....started today. So basically, having signed up for this, I have to run, walk or cycle 5kms a day for 50 days. Sadly, riding doesn't count. Obviously I won't be running, I leave that to some lunatic I know......which brings me to the warm up for the challenge I had to do yesterday. Because said lunatic decided to run the Médoc Marathon. In 36 degree heat. Wearing plate armour......
...and we had to yomp round various vineyards to cheer him on. Ended up doing about 8kms which was more than enough for us! Some of the time I had to carry swords too. Gave the locals something to stare at.

More on the mad marathon man's experience here.

So after that, a little 6.5km cycle with my friend Sarah was easy this morning. Except that we decided to go off road for some of it......forgetting that the hunting season started today. After the first volley of shotgun fire which scared the crap out of me (good job I wans't on a horse)  we decided to make a LOT of noise until the men with guns had seen us. No idea what they were hunting, couldn't see any wildlife for miles around, but that could be due to the large number of flourescent hat wearing gun toting men stomping all over the countryside......

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Dressage début

Just got back from her first "live" dressage comp and Fina came 3rd in her class with 61,67%. She did a Club 3 Grand Prix class, which sounds a lot grander than it is, being the lowest level you can do........

Really chuffed with her, she wasn't arguing with Ali at all. She got mostly 6s & 7s, with a few 5s for incurvation, ie bending but we knew there'd be problems there......she even got a 7 for obéissance aux aides!!  

They only got a five for correction du tracé though, but then, her canter circles, well, weren't........also the halts weren't really there either - oops! But Ali got sevens for her position and aids  :-)

Still, for a small, hairy, chunky pony who looked pretty out of place amongst the shiny, plaited, long-legged competition, I reckon she did pretty well.

Oh, and she was the only horse in her class not wearing a de gogue....... I really can't believe you're allowed gadgets like that in competitions.

 
Anyway, here's her video, the pause at the start was for a poo!!
 
The Club 2 class was interesting for us too, as entries included Louise, the SNO's (and Ali's former)instructor....
.....and Carole, Ali's current instructor......
.....and Louise beat Carole! With no de gogue or noseband to tie her horse's mouth shut either........